Short Story: The Cafe Throne


When I visit the cafe, I change seats about three or four times before I settle. It’s no science. I’m not a creep or anything. I just like my space. I like my spot—the corner window with the round table.

The workers here probably think I have OCD; but then again, they’re judgmental.

The coffee is how much?

Every morning I have to wait on this guy, he likes the corner window seat too. It’s the same guy every day. I imagine him outside, waiting in the cold, sprinting as soon as they open the door. You can’t blame him, it’s the best spot in the house. The lazy squatter watches the sunrise and the fog burn off both sides of the highway. By the time he gives up the seat, the sun blares in my eyes and I’m left with a lingering smell of his breakfast veggie-wrap.

That’s alright. I grab my coffee, sit, and wait. It’s okay here, the coffee that is. You wouldn’t catch me handing out any awards. They brew it hot enough, I guess. The food does make me sick and good thing, it’s expensive.

The coffee is how much? 

I’m close to home when I come here. I’d otherwise exist, every morning, with people who know how to appreciate a level table. Here, they bob up and down like a child’s hand in a classroom—can I go to the bathroom? You do all this work, jumping from table to table, getting closer and closer to that prized spot, that seat of accolade, the damn window corner cafe throne, and what’s that? Oh, it wobbles.

The coffee is how much? 

Thirty years I spent climbing the ladder. I’m not talking corporate ladder, I mean an actual ladder. Up and down every day. Up and down, up and down. Painting, cleaning, watching.

I’m tired of the up and down.